The 2019 Mountain West Football Budget Roster Game
If you had to build a Mountain West football team from scratch in 2019, which players would be a part of your core? Now, you get to decide.
Shall we play a game?
Sometimes, in the deepest part of the college football season, you have to be able to keep yourself entertained. Thankfully, those of us at Mountain West Wire have a thought exercise.
You’re probably familiar with the overall idea: Players in various sports are assigned a certain dollar value and you are given a limited budget to build the ideal lineup. So far as we can see, however, this hasn’t been recently (if at all) for Mountain West football, so we decided to do it ourselves. Here’s how it works:
- There are ten total positions to fill: Four for offense, three for defense, two “flex” positions (one each for offense and defense), and one for special teams.
- To make it as inclusive as possible, each Mountain West team has just one representative in every category.
- There are two players in each value tier except for the $1 selections, where there are four.
- There is a total budget of $30.
If you had to choose from this roster of athletes, what would you do?
Here’s how some of our writers approached this exercise.
When I began thinking about this whole thing, I started with the idea of “fun”. That eventually came down to figuring how who could create explosive plays on offense and avoiding them on defense, with a dash of homerism for good measure. Jorge Reyna may not have quite the same wheels as other Mountain West quarterbacks, but he has a good arm and surrounding him with Gerold Bright, Tyleek Collins and Romeo Doubs (plus Muti up front) just feels like a touchdown waiting to happen on any given play.
I valued safety play quite a bit, too, so I paired Juju Hughes with Trenton Thompson on the back-end of a budget-conscious defense. I do think Dom Peterson could be the conference’s next big defensive star, though, and Kyle Johnson is a solid $1 buy. With Meskell’s upside as a reasonable $2 bet, too, I feel pretty good about accomplishing my goals.
When composing my roster, I tried to find value at the skill positions that allowed for a strong defense and the ability to splurge on the offensive and defensive line. Tyler Nevens, Bailey Gaither, and Armani Rogers dealt with injuries last season, but when they were playing they were very productive. Rogers is a top end QB that comes at a $1 discount compared to the other top two QBs. Gaither for only $1 is a huge value at receiver with his ability to be a playmaker.
Even with his injury last season, I am not convinced that Netane Muti is not the best offensive lineman in the conference. On the defensive side, Curtis Weaver, Logan Wilson, and Javin White help to make up a strong front 7 with Juju Hughes over the top. My one downfall on this roster may end up being that not everyone is able to stay healthy, but I find it unlikely that all of them are out again this season.
I am a Boise State guy and here is a simple truth: Boise State is the king of the Mountain West. You pick Boise State against the MWC field, you got decent chances. When my ‘friend’ and Fresno State alum, Matt Kenerly, asked me to participate in this exercise, it was simply a formality of me picking all the Boise State players, but he was sneaky and I hit $34 (budget was $30) by picking Broncos across the board.
I was forced to dump one of the $5 Broncos (Hightower, Cleveland, Weaver, Williams, and Nawahine) and replace them with a $1
scrub available Mountain West player to replace them. Dropping Weaver or Cleveland was a non-starter for me, so it came down to parting with either Hightower, Williams, or Nawahine. After much thought, I decided to keep Hightower and Nawahine. Williams’s replacement was Antonio Hull that I snagged for $1. A quick Google search revealed that Antonio Hull is a member of the Wyoming Cowboys.
It’s always interesting to see what values players have on them. And being a Colorado State fan, I had to select some Rams. Marvin Kinsey is a undervalued back. Having worked his way back from an ACL tear, he’s looking to prove his worth. Warren “Action” Jackson will be the next Rams receiver taken in the NFL Draft. Ellison Hubbard and Devin Phillips combine to be a great interior defensive line. Rashad Ajayi has a combination of talent and ego to take him far. Ryan Stonehouse is continuing the long line of successful CSU punters.
Being a Rams fan means I’ve seen my fair share of Border Wars, too. Keegan Cryder has proven himself to be one of the top linemen in the Mountain West. Armani Rogers gets no love from football fans outside of the Mountain West due to the fact that he plays for UNLV. He’s the offensive leader of my team here. David Woodward is the defensive leader of my team because he is the best defender in the league. JoJo Ward gives Rodgers a slot option on this mash up team. I feel given the constraints and dollar values of players, that this is the best team of Mountain West players that can be created.
How would you build your core? Be sure to let us know on Twitter.
Head over to MWCBoard to submit your own roster.